It’s the Chinese year of the ram | TahoeDailyTribune.com
YOUR AD HERE »

It’s the Chinese year of the ram

The Chinese New Year, which begins Friday at midnight, will be celebrated with firecrackers, torches, incense, food and parades.

In China, Taiwan, and Chinese American communities, the year is 4701 according to a lunar calendar. This year will honor the ram.

A legend spread during the new year celebration deals with Nien, a beast that eats people. Firecrackers are lighted at midnight in an effort to scare off the monster. Because Nien is believed to fear the color red, red paper and torches are posted to ward off the beast.



Red paper scrolls are hung up and covered with phrases meant to promote good fortune, wealth, or longevity. The scrolls are posted upside down to signify the arrival of spring.

“The lunar calendar is based on the agricultural season,” said Paul Chang, director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco. “You get all the harvests in the wintertime.”




On New Year’s Eve at midnight, family members gather to eat a special meal. Relatives tell each other kung-hsi, which means congratulations.

“It’s a time for family planning and to review what was done last year,” Chang said. “It’s like a family reunion, just like Christmas here.”

Chinese Americans typically get one day off from work to celebrate the new year. This year, they don’t get time off because the holiday is on a Saturday. In Taiwan, which liberated itself from mainland China in 1949 in a civil war, they take about one week off from work, Chang said.

In California, celebrations are planned in San Francisco and San Jose. Chang said many Chinese who live in the Bay Area are Cantonese, an area in southern China.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User